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NNS rookies give veterans something to fear

March 20, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR Wire Service,

Dillon, Elliott are currently tied for NNS Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors

RELATED: Nationwide Series standings

Pay close attention to the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. You may be looking into the future of NASCAR. 

And right now there’s a tie in the rookie race that is as intriguing and compelling as they come.

With the series headed west to Auto Club Speedway for Saturday’s 300 (5 p.m. ET on ESPN), Ty Dillon and Chase Elliott both have 51 points in the rookie standings. Dylan Kwasniewski is third, 14 points back. 

Dillon started his first full-time season strong, finishing in the top 10 three times through the first four races. His best finish (sixth) came last week at Bristol. His lowest finish – a still solid 11th – was at Las Vegas.

Saturday’s race, however, presents a fresh challenge for the North Carolina driver. 

"It’s a new place for me, I’ve never actually raced there – only just one test earlier this year in a Cup car," Dillon said. "I had a great test and had a lot of fun, definitely looking forward to the new challenge of a new race track and what the Nationwide Series will bring as far as a challenge there."

Fortunately for Dillon, he’s not the only rookie making his inaugural start in Fontana. Both Elliott and Kwasniewski have never made a national series start at the track. 

Dillon, who took over the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet from his older brother Austin, is third in points behind leader Regan Smith and Trevor Bayne.


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